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Reply #111: James Fallows: Obama Is Wrong About Congress and Libya [View All]

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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-11 06:21 AM
Response to Reply #105
111. James Fallows: Obama Is Wrong About Congress and Libya
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/06/oba...

Let's move past the technicalities: that this is not "really" a war, since we have not sent troops into battle and are supporting the air campaign via NATO; that the War Powers act might not exactly fit these circumstances; that many of the Republicans now saying the War Powers act must be observed link:blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/06/in-war-powers-act-debate-obama-and-boehner-throw-past-quotes-at-one-another-revealing-inconsistencie.html|were against it] in other times; and so on. For purposes of argument, let's grant every one of those points. Let's assume that you could make a courtroom case that Obama has violated neither the Constitution nor the War Powers act in what is now a three-month-old military campaign in a foreign country. (For a strong and detailed contrary argument, see this.)

None of those remove the problem, which is not about technicalities. The central concern, and the major threat to our politics, is that once again we are going to war essentially on one person's say-so. Yes, that person is the Commander in Chief; yes, he is committing force for what he considers to be good and prudent reasons; and yes, there are modern circumstances in which a President must be free to act first and consult later.

But after three months of combat, and after several decades of drift toward unilateral Executive Branch action on matters of war and peace, Obama is doing a disservice to the nation, history, and himself by insisting that the decision should be left strictly to him. If the Libyan campaign ultimately "goes well," he will not in any way lessen his own political and historic credit by having involved the Congress. If it goes poorly, he will be politically safer if this is not just his own judgment-call war. More important, in either case he will have helped the country if his conduct restores rather than further weakens the concept that a multi-branch Constitutional republic must share the responsibility to commit force. We can only imagine the eloquence with which a Candidate Obama would be making this exact case were he not in the White House now.

Obama and his lawyers can persist with their sophistic conceit that they don't "need" to involve the Congress. That may be smart, but it is not wise. Obama the historian and leader must understand that in the broadest political and moral sense he and the country need fuller involvement in decisions on war and peace.
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  -Obama claims he doesn't need the approval of Congress to continue the war in Libya. Congress sues. Better Believe It  Jun-15-11 04:34 PM   #0 
  - K&R Who would have ever thunk it. nt  Shagbark Hickory   Jun-15-11 04:35 PM   #1 
  - By letting Bush go free for his war crimes, not to mention a few others  TBF   Jun-15-11 04:39 PM   #2 
  - Just dropped from +1 to zero and I'll bet that trend continues -  TBF   Jun-15-11 04:41 PM   #3 
  - just brought it to +9 :)  inna   Jun-15-11 05:11 PM   #9 
  - how sad to be so disillusioned that you would let others suffer and die for it  Eagle Mall   Jun-15-11 05:15 PM   #12 
  - War is Peace!  EFerrari   Jun-15-11 05:27 PM   #16 
  - what's sad is believing that we're there to help the people  inna   Jun-15-11 05:29 PM   #18 
  - Why you are a bit more pro-active  Riftaxe   Jun-15-11 06:55 PM   #32 
  - Whether they want it or not.  Better Believe It   Jun-15-11 08:13 PM   #33 
  - Whatever narrative will help you sleep at night..  girl gone mad   Jun-15-11 10:50 PM   #36 
  - There are polls that state otherwise.  bobburgster   Jun-16-11 03:22 PM   #95 
  - oops, dupe  inna   Jun-15-11 05:21 PM   #14 
  - Shame, Shame. That the first U.S. President of African descent would so belittle bombing Africans  Distant Observer   Jun-15-11 04:43 PM   #4 
  - Repukes don't like Wars where they aren't making a profit. No money in humanitarianism.  Eagle Mall   Jun-15-11 04:52 PM   #5 
  - You know I tried that line too  humbled_opinion   Jun-15-11 05:02 PM   #7 
  - did you point out the difference between a unilateral war for profit  Eagle Mall   Jun-15-11 05:09 PM   #8 
  - You are arguing semantics.....  humbled_opinion   Jun-15-11 05:28 PM   #17 
  - +100  Myrina   Jun-16-11 08:41 AM   #51 
  - War is never "Humanitarian"  Dutchmaster   Jun-16-11 12:09 PM   #65 
  - profit  trud   Jun-16-11 12:35 PM   #70 
  - Yes.  obxhead   Jun-16-11 03:38 PM   #96 
  - Libya is pure profit == The GCC has $Trillion funds managed by west and Libya has Trillions in Oil  Distant Observer   Jun-15-11 05:13 PM   #11 
  - Fantasy loves company  Eagle Mall   Jun-15-11 05:17 PM   #13 
  - In Libya, Foreign Bankers See a Coming Bonanza  EFerrari   Jun-15-11 05:29 PM   #19 
  - So then this truly is a...  humbled_opinion   Jun-15-11 05:31 PM   #22 
     - The media campaign has been relentless. Look at this analysis  EFerrari   Jun-15-11 05:55 PM   #23 
        - Wow!! Even I got suckered by that one.  RufusTFirefly   Jun-16-11 07:44 PM   #102 
  - Is this your humanitarian alliance?  Distant Observer   Jun-15-11 06:06 PM   #24 
  - you are the one living in lala land  fascisthunter   Jun-16-11 11:31 AM   #56 
  - you got it  lovuian   Jun-16-11 02:59 PM   #93 
  - Tomahawk missiles  Dokkie   Jun-16-11 11:53 AM   #58 
  - And democrats don't seem to like wars unless a democrat is leading it  WatsonT   Jun-16-11 01:31 PM   #83 
     - This what I said.  ej510   Jun-16-11 01:54 PM   #89 
        - Just like supporting one sports team over the other but with the added fun  WatsonT   Jun-16-11 01:58 PM   #90 
  - Very damaging to our party and its principles..  humbled_opinion   Jun-15-11 05:01 PM   #6 
  - you really need to study the differences between what Bush did and what Obama is doing  Eagle Mall   Jun-15-11 05:13 PM   #10 
  - This is the right way to pursue wars?  Better Believe It   Jun-15-11 05:26 PM   #15 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Jun-15-11 05:29 PM   #20 
  - It fits perfectly into their profiteering schemes  EFerrari   Jun-15-11 05:30 PM   #21 
  - The use of force in your statement  Abq_Sarah   Jun-15-11 06:17 PM   #28 
  - Well, even the hated bush went to congress for authorization for the horrible iraq war.  krabigirl   Jun-16-11 12:08 PM   #64 
  - So, this is OK, if only France and Germany profit.  backtomn   Jun-16-11 12:46 PM   #75 
  - Already we're finding out that our allies, those who voted to support the war  WatsonT   Jun-16-11 01:33 PM   #84 
  - You really need to study the similarities.  readmoreoften   Jun-18-11 06:21 AM   #112 
  - My Pre-emptive solution to those arguments  Glyn Dwr   Jun-16-11 10:25 AM   #54 
  - Which of these people do not belong?  erodriguez   Jun-15-11 06:11 PM   #25 
  - You pegged it...  humbled_opinion   Jun-15-11 06:12 PM   #27 
  - The flying nun?  Better Believe It   Jun-15-11 06:34 PM   #31 
  - The old woman who took millions in donations but let the sick suffer and die  davepc   Jun-16-11 02:35 AM   #40 
  - Once they get entrenched in war, arrogance and stubbornness set in.  NCarolinawoman   Jun-15-11 06:11 PM   #26 
  - Obama should give his Nobel Peace Prize  humbled_opinion   Jun-15-11 06:21 PM   #29 
  - +1  emilyg   Jun-16-11 01:31 AM   #38 
  - +  swilton   Jun-16-11 12:34 PM   #68 
  - He should have tied it to the first bomb/missile to be fired at libya  WatsonT   Jun-16-11 01:33 PM   #85 
  - Just what we need. Another 'decider'. nt  Obamanaut   Jun-15-11 06:22 PM   #30 
  - The suit'll be bounced.  Igel   Jun-15-11 10:43 PM   #34 
  - I hope it gets heard and the congress people in question get nailed for failing to uphold the...  joshcryer   Jun-16-11 01:34 AM   #39 
  - knr n/t  slipslidingaway   Jun-15-11 10:46 PM   #35 
  - We don't need no stinkin' badges! nt  lutherj   Jun-16-11 01:16 AM   #37 
  - Pentagon estimates costing U.S. taxpayers $2 million a day  Ichingcarpenter   Jun-16-11 02:47 AM   #41 
  - I am so sure that we are NOT on the ground there, after all, this IS an...  webDude   Jun-16-11 05:44 AM   #42 
  - Congress didn't sue  VeryConfused   Jun-16-11 06:50 AM   #43 
  - Yeah, something's fishy about the GOP jumping up and down...  Cappadonna   Jun-16-11 09:44 AM   #53 
  - John Conyers? Dennis Kucinich? DINOS???  Hell Hath No Fury   Jun-16-11 12:01 PM   #60 
     - Yeah that must be it  VeryConfused   Jun-16-11 01:25 PM   #81 
     - Welcome, Rep. Conyers! There's probably still a little room for you under the HopeMobile!  RufusTFirefly   Jun-16-11 06:30 PM   #101 
  - You lie, Obama  JJW   Jun-16-11 07:43 AM   #44 
  - How do you explain the 100+ other times Presidents  VeryConfused   Jun-16-11 08:04 AM   #46 
     - American Presidents have been abusing their office for decades -  Hell Hath No Fury   Jun-16-11 12:06 PM   #61 
     - 2008: Hope and Change!  WatsonT   Jun-16-11 01:34 PM   #86 
  - How low can he go  Yon_Yonson   Jun-16-11 08:01 AM   #45 
  - The proper question is how low can his critics and attackers go  VeryConfused   Jun-16-11 08:05 AM   #47 
     - I am very akin to warfare  Yon_Yonson   Jun-16-11 08:14 AM   #48 
     - So the Korean war was covered by the War Powers Act. Thanks for the info.  Better Believe It   Jun-16-11 08:26 AM   #49 
     - "The proper question is how low can his critics and attackers go..."  Hell Hath No Fury   Jun-16-11 12:11 PM   #66 
     - So if the president does it, then it must be OK.  liberation   Jun-16-11 12:38 PM   #71 
        - Dude, this person thinks the Kuch and Conyers are DINOS -  Hell Hath No Fury   Jun-16-11 01:48 PM   #88 
  - War Powers Experts Say Lawsuit Filed Against the Obama Administration is Right on the Merits  Better Believe It   Jun-16-11 08:35 AM   #50 
  - Obama's flouting the Constitution is giving the Teabaggers just what they want -- a Rogue President  Distant Observer   Jun-16-11 09:42 AM   #52 
  - I believe some Presidents feel the power of their office puts them above the law.  NorthCarolina   Jun-16-11 11:08 AM   #55 
  - President Obama learned well from his apparent mentor.....  democrank   Jun-16-11 11:41 AM   #57 
  - The war in Libya is about imperialism. All about resources. If anyone believes  ej510   Jun-16-11 11:58 AM   #59 
  - You think this war has to do with the $5+ trillion dollars of oil  hulka38   Jun-16-11 03:54 PM   #97 
  - Good for congress. Finally, a bit of backbone.  krabigirl   Jun-16-11 12:07 PM   #62 
  - The House  sulphurdunn   Jun-16-11 12:08 PM   #63 
  - He can't be wrong  avaistheone1   Jun-16-11 12:13 PM   #67 
  - So that Nobel Peace Price was sarcastic I see...  liberation   Jun-16-11 12:35 PM   #69 
  - !  Bluebear   Jun-18-11 05:48 AM   #110 
  - Finally some real news  swilton   Jun-16-11 12:38 PM   #72 
  - It is a shame that Obama has become a Neo-Con on the middle  ej510   Jun-16-11 12:42 PM   #73 
  - So, we can essentially go to war forever, as long as we can prop up some meatshield in front of us  AtheistCrusader   Jun-16-11 12:44 PM   #74 
  - In this case, I hope Congress wins.  LiberalAndProud   Jun-16-11 12:46 PM   #76 
  - The precedent was set when Obama let the Bush administration off the hook  nonperson   Jun-16-11 01:00 PM   #77 
  - Commit the same crimes so he wouldn't be prosecuted for war crimes either.  ej510   Jun-16-11 01:01 PM   #78 
  - Laws are for peasants. Our warmonger overlords do not bow to law. nt  ProgressIn2008   Jun-16-11 01:05 PM   #79 
  - " "the war" " nt  guruoo   Jun-16-11 01:19 PM   #80 
  - Then lets withdraw from NATO and the UN - wouldnt that please the Liberal Dems?  pasto76   Jun-16-11 01:31 PM   #82 
  - NATO is corrupt and engages in global imperialism  ej510   Jun-16-11 01:34 PM   #87 
  - Good point! NATO should be dissolved. I don't think we need fear an invasion of Europe by Russia  Better Believe It   Jun-16-11 04:45 PM   #99 
  - "Congress" didn't sue. Ten members sued -- out of more than 500. n/t  pnwmom   Jun-16-11 02:18 PM   #91 
  - K&R! Very Important.  KoKo   Jun-16-11 02:40 PM   #92 
  - Actions on Libya: February 23 - June 15  ProSense   Jun-16-11 03:17 PM   #94 
  - According to far too many around DU these days,  hulka38   Jun-16-11 04:02 PM   #98 
  - Obama Asserts Sweeping Executive Powers in Libya War Powers Justification  Better Believe It   Jun-16-11 05:04 PM   #100 
  - Another Kick...for BLINDING TRUTH! Thanks for the Post!  KoKo   Jun-16-11 08:16 PM   #103 
  - Line up them tankers, boys...  BadtotheboneBob   Jun-17-11 05:30 PM   #104 
  - It will be interesting to see if the courts agree or disagree with the administrations  cstanleytech   Jun-17-11 10:42 PM   #105 
  - It'll probably be tossed out as Congress already hs the authority to deal with it.  Kaleva   Jun-17-11 10:45 PM   #106 
  - If you mean via the power of the purse I am not going to get my hopes up since many  cstanleytech   Jun-17-11 11:34 PM   #107 
     - That and the authority to impeach.  Kaleva   Jun-18-11 12:09 AM   #108 
  - James Fallows: Obama Is Wrong About Congress and Libya  pampango   Jun-18-11 06:21 AM   #111 
     - Interesting read, wonder if the majority of scotus will agree though  cstanleytech   Jun-18-11 06:48 AM   #113 
  - Probably a good thing he wasn't caught "sexting" huh ..... n/t  divvy   Jun-18-11 04:28 AM   #109 
 

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